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MRAA requests changes to SBA floorplan program

The Marine Retailers Association of America sent a letter to the Small Business Administration last week regarding concerns over the agency's new floorplan financing program for boat dealers.

"MRAA is very concerned that the guidelines as written are geared more to the business model of auto dealerships and if the guidelines remain unchanged boat dealers will not qualify for the program," MRAA said in a member advisory distributed today.

MRAA asked the SBA to make the following changes to its guidelines:

* Allow for application of the program in non-title and title states.

* Eliminate the $500,000 threshold for minimum loan amount.

* Increase the maximum loan amount to $4 million from $2 million.

* Use SBA loan proceeds to refinance existing or new inventory at the existing lender or for the acquisition or refinance of inventory at a new lender.

* Expand the definition of franchise-only dealers since that business model does not apply to recreational boating.

* Allow banks to be considered experienced on a case-by-case basis.

* Be less restrictive on the requirement that boat dealers have to provide monthly financial statements.

"We are asking the SBA to amend its guidelines with these recommendations, which will go a long way to ensure success of the program for boat dealers. We will continue to work the SBA to craft workable guidelines," said MRAA chairman Ed Lofgren, in a statement.

Click here for the full letter.

Click here for the advisory.

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